Moye Chen '12 Wins 2014 World Piano Competition

July 30, 2014
Michael Stenovec
Moye Chen ’12
Moye Chen earned the gold medal in a World Piano Competition that awarded no silver medal.

Pianist Moye Chen ’12 was named gold medalist in the 2014 World Piano Competition, which culminated on June 28 in Cincinnati. Chen’s performance of Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3 with the Cincinnati Symphony earned the Final Round Audience Favorite prize in addition to the gold medal. Two other finalists tied for bronze; no silver medal was awarded by the judges.

The World Piano Competition, held at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, took place from June 23-28. Out of 24 competitors, three top performers shared a total of $45,000 in prize money.

Chen earned his artist diploma from Oberlin in 2012, but his connection to Oberlin dates back to 1989. It was then that he saw his eventual teacher, Associate Professor of Piano Angela Cheng, perform at the Beijing Concert Hall in his hometown.

“She helped and inspired me very much,” Chen says of Cheng. “I was very fortunate to study with her.”

A year after seeing Cheng’s performance, Chen began his piano studies; he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music before arriving in Oberlin. He is currently pursuing a doctor of musical arts from the University of Illinois.

“He is a brilliant and powerful pianist, extremely gifted technically and blessed with a beautiful sound at the piano,” says Cheng. “It was a joy and pleasure for me to work with him.”

In addition to the World Piano Competition, Chen has been a winner of the Krannert Debut Artists Competition, Seattle International Piano Competition, DCS International Piano Competition, Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition, Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, and the Palatino Piano and Composition Competition. His future plans include a recital at Carnegie Hall—his second performance at the heralded venue—and several engagements in Cincinnati.

When asked if he has any advice for Oberlin piano students, Chen says, “I don’t know if my advice is necessary, because Oberlin pianists are so wonderful and talented. But I would suggest students work hard in their academic courses, like musicology and theory. The music research helps the performer understand the music from every angle.”

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